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El Pasoans are split on whether voter ID law will benefit local voters

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Texas's first primary of 2018 will begin early voting on March 6.

This will be the first election in which the new voter ID law will be in effect.

The new law was called Senate Bill 5 in last legislative session. It was passed after a federal court deemed the 20-11 state law discriminated against minority voters.

This new voter ID law gives voters who can't get a photo ID a chance to still cast their ballot. Anyone in Texas who has a justified reason for why they can't get a photo ID can show an alternative form of ID.

This would mean a bank statement, utility bill or a paycheck would work when you go to vote. Some El Pasoans tell me they aren't too sure how the law will help Texas voting.

"I didn't think it's a good idea. You might get bigger numbers,” Manouchehr Rafaein said. “But, I think there could be a lot of fraud that's going to happen if you start doing that."

"I don't think it’s going to help with voter turnout so much as it will give people an option that they may have not the opportunity before to do it," Jared Pointer said.

Others have conflicting opinions about how they felt these different forms of identification may not be the best way to approve voters.

"It may help minorities or people who may not have their state-issued ID but I don't think a bank statement is good enough to vote on,” Zelda Ruiz said.

Although, there is a process that needs to be followed before you show up at the polls with a paycheck. It has to be cleared by the state before this happens.

But, if a voter attempts to vote without permission or lies about the reason why they don’t have a photo ID, they will be charged with a felony.

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